Getronics Says U.S. Company Is Talking Acquisition

Amsterdam-based Getronics, an IT services firm, said exploratory acquisition talks "may or may not lead to a transaction."
Getronics NV said a U.S. firm is interested in acquiring it. The overseas press immediately started speculating on a possible buyer, with Maryland-based IT services firm SystemsNet heading the list, followed by Hewlett-Packard, and a private buyout firm.

Getronics is a services firm specializing in IT and network integration and outsourcing in 30 countries. It has nearly 25,000 employees.

A call to the office of SystemsNet chief Ken Bajah Friday morning produced the response that there was no one available to discuss whether the company was interested in acquiring Getronics.

Getronics has been cobbled together over the years in a series of acquisitions including WangGlobal, which traced its origins to Wang Laboratories.

Getronics' stock jumped nearly 20% on the acquisitions talks report.

Amsterdam-based Getronics said exploratory acquisition talks "may or may not lead to a transaction," according to media reports.

SystemsNet held acquisition talks with Getronics some months ago, but the negotiations were said to have broken down because Getronics wanted to work on reorganizing its various units. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf said the two firms were negotiating this week. Getronics chairman Rinus Minderhoud was said to be overseeing the talks.

Unconfirmed reports also named HP and buyout firm Platinum Equity as possible candidates to acquire Getronics.

Getronics has had a roller coaster ride in recent years surging to a profit and sales growth in 2005, but recording a net loss in 2006.

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